AFG support workers stage pay-cut protest in Burnley

Protesters in Burnley
Image caption AFG said it was consulting with staff and would not be making redundancies

Support workers who look after adults with learning disabilities have been protesting in Burnley town centre.

The staff, who work for the Alternative Futures Group (AFG), are angry about proposed pay cuts and changes to their working conditions.

Their union, Unite, said staff were facing a cut in their wages because the company has to save £5.1m after funding cuts.

AFG said it was consulting staff and would not be making redundancies.

One worker, Kim Banks, said staff were not being given the option of voluntarily redundancy if they were unhappy with the pay-cuts.

She said: "We want a choice of voluntary redundancy which doesn't seem to be on the table at the moment.

"I think the cuts that they're asking us to take are absolutely appalling.

"My salary would reduce by 20%, but all in all with the sickness benefits that we have, the maternity pay, it works out at between 40 and 45%."

Chief Executive of AFG, Neil Campbell, said: "Consultation with staff is currently under way and despite extreme pressures on our budget Alternative Futures Group is not considering making redundancies and will not reduce direct support hours.

"AFG receives the majority of its funding from local councils, many of which have made significant cuts to their annual budgets.

"This has of course impacted on the way we are funded, but we are committed to ensuring that our services continue to provide the best possible value for money.

"Until the consultation is completed, it would be inappropriate for us to go into more detail at this stage."

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